O’Rourke Not Enough to Carry Golf at MacDonald Cup


O’Rourke had a standout day despite a rough team performance at the MacDonald Cup. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Fordham golf team placed 13th out of 14 teams at the MacDonald Cup, hosted by Yale University. They shot a combined 899 (+59) over the 54-hole event, two shots ahead of Cornell University, who placed last. 

The final 18 holes that brought the Rams down. Their 308 (+28) was the second-highest score of the day and brought them down three spots on the leaderboard. 

The hosts won the tournament by four shots over the University of Michigan. The Bulldogs posted a six-under 274 on day one, enough to stand as the lowest team score of the tournament and set the tone atop the leaderboard all weekend. 

Individually, junior PJ O’Rourke led the way for the Rams once again, posting a 54-hole score of 215 (+5), good enough for T11. O’Rourke matched his career-low three-round score, which he set last week at the Hartford Invite, and his tie for 11th was the best finish in his career. There is something about the Yale course that fits the New Jersey native’s eye, as he shot 218 in the event last spring during his sophomore year. O’Rourke has become a rising star for the Rams this year, following a team-low scoring average from last year. 

He also posted the best round on a tough Sunday. His 71 (+1) was followed by a 78 from junior John Kyscio, an 83 by junior Nicholas Manning, a 79 from junior Andreas Aivazoglou and an even 80 from senior Ryan Davis. This dropped the Rams below Bucknell University, Colgate University and St. Bonaventure University. That compounds the consistency problem. A round like the first two would have slid the Rams into the top ten and above those teams and others. 

The Rams have a lull in the schedule before their next event, October 22 and 23 against Lehigh University. That tournament will take place at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This is a regular event on the Fordham Golf calendar, where they placed 14th out of 14 teams at the 2019 event. This will be a great opportunity for O’Rourke and Manning to bounce back after they shot in the 80s on the final day two years ago. Both players have improved since the 2019-20 season and hope to prove that.

This will be a much-needed layoff for the Rams. They have played an enormous amount of golf throughout the month of September and will get the next three weeks to rest and prepare for the final two events of the season. 

The last in Connecticut was a disappointment but they will look to rebound when they return against Lehigh.